A town in the region has officially become part of a select worldwide community dedicated to safeguarding precious resources.
Llangollen’s year-long bid to become part of the international Cittaslow movement, which fosters economic, social and environmental sustainability, was rewarded this week when it was formally granted accreditation by the organisation.
It is hoped this will bring a range of benefits, including reassuring potential visitors and investors that it is well run and progressive, and unlocking funds from central government and the EU to help finance local initiatives.
Llangollen has become only the second Cittaslow town in Wales after Mold, and is only the sixth in the UK.
Mold is said to have benefited enormously from holding the status.
Cittaslow grew from the Slow Food Movement, another international scheme which links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment by promoting local, seasonal produce and reconnecting people with where their food comes from.
Under the umbrella of the town council, Llangollen set up a working group dedicated to winning Cittaslow status.
The group’s 14 members, including councillors and non-councillors, have spent the past year putting together a formal bid package which demonstrated every aspect of the town’s suitability for accreditation, including the strength of its local produce and products and its hospitality and community assets.
Following the accreditation, businesses in Llangollen will now be entitled to carry the official Cittaslow logo on their websites and Llangollen Town Council is investigating the possibility of flying a Cittaslow flag over the town hall.
Spokesman and Llangollen town councillor Phil Thane said: “We are delighted to have won accreditation which is a tribute to the hard work put in by the bid group and of our town clerk Gareth Thomas.
“When the council or a voluntary body in Llangollen applies for a grant from Cardiff, London or Brussels being a Cittaslow town shows that we are well organised and run and should help us bring more investment into the town.
“One of our main aims is to involve as many people as possible in Cittaslow Llangollen, which is why we’ve set up a website to show you what were doing at www. cittaslow.llangollentowncouncil.co.uk. We are also on Facebook and Twitter.”